Felix Machines

Felix Machines – Felix Thorn

Oli Laurelle recently brought to my attention the musical machines of Felix Thorn, some of which are currently on show in London at Gasworks. Felix Machines are, mostly likely, what many an electronic musician may have dreamed of at some point while glued to a monitor screen. A mechanical ensemble containing piano parts and drums is driven through solenoids, springs and motors. Each movement of the robotic band is augmented with a flicker of light – a key is hit and the spark of light occurs simultaneous. In whole the experience is a practical implementation of syneasthetic theory – be sure to check out this video of the machine in action. The compositions are reminiscent of minimalist composers such as Steve Reich, partly because of timbre and partly through the use of highly metered rhythms – the connection with music boxes and mechanical pianos is, of course, also implicit.

In December of last year Eileen Simpson and Ben White of the Open Music Archive, made a performance with the Felix Machines, the result is a ‘Out of Copyright’ compilation of music called ‘Perforations’ which can be downloaded here.

2 Responses to “Felix Machines”

  1. Michael Una » Solenoid-based drumming strategies writes:

    […] ategorized by Michael Una on January 14, 2009 Came across this video on Dataisnature. I’m working on a similar idea, combining robot-controlled musical instruments and lighting eff […]

  2. Michael Una writes:

    Good stuff. I’ve been working on a similar project and this is inspiring. it’d be nice to see this project documented in an installation context.

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